Columbus, OH-based Limited Brands, the parent of women’s apparel merchant Victoria’s Secret, termed its first-quarter results “disappointing.” How disappointing? Try a 76% decline in net income, to $23.1 million for the quarter ended April 30, compared with $96.6 million last year. Companywide net sales fell less significantly, to $1.975 billion from $1.978 billion a year ago. Comparable store sales fell 5%.
Hoping to reverse the downward trend, the company said in its quarterly discussion of financials that it hoped to have the Website for its Bath & Body Works retail chain transactional by October in anticipation of the holiday season. According to a spokesperson, the current Bath & Body Works Website, which is informational only, garners more than 7 million hits annually. Limited Brands then went to say it hopefully would roll out a print catalog for the personal-products brand sometime in 2.006
Speaking of print, sales at Victoria’s Secret Direct, which consists of the print and online catalogs, increased 10%. And operating income for the division increased “significantly” thanks to sales of bras, swimwear, and knit and woven tops. Limited Brands’ other properties include apparel retail chain Express.